Jerome Dyson has had his share of trials and tribulations since arriving at the University of Connecticut. The 64 shooting guard was suspended indefinitely during his sophomore year and tore his lateral meniscus last season. Before his injury, Dyson was playing solid basketball and was oftentimes a top option on an NCAA-contending team that graduated two players to the NBA. That said, however, he displayed many limitations, particularly on the offensive end of the floor. With just one season left in Storrs, Dyson must expand his game significantly while helping Connecticut win games if he wants a shot at getting drafted.
Standing somewhere between 63 and 64, Dyson does not have the greatest size or strength for the shooting guard position at the next level, though he does have above-average length. Dyson does not stand out physically given his position and style of play, which is an obstacle that he will have to overcome at the next level. He is a solid athlete, however, with excellent quickness in the open floor and decent explosiveness around the basket.
On the offensive end, Dyson has improved since his freshman season, but is still primarily a slash-and-shoot player and quite limited in terms of what he can offer a team at the next level. He has a quick first step that allows him to beat his man and attack the basket at this level. What slows him down, however, is his mediocre ball handling ability, particularly with his left hand. Improving in this area would make him a far more effective slasher and would help him to better utilize his athleticism. Once at the rim, he shows solid body control and explosiveness, which allow him to be a decent finisher. As evidenced by his sub-par 43% two-point field-goal percentage, he is not a particularly efficient scorer and he does not finish well with contact or when guarded.
While transition and isolation opportunities combine to represent a good chunk of his overall possessions, a decent amount of his possessions come from spot-up jump shots. He is not a great shooter at this point in time, however, converting on just under 35% of his 3-pointers on a single make per game, while showing fundamentals that could use serious work. Despite his athleticism, Dyson gets very little lift on his jumper, which, combined with his slow release and a form that finds him often taking shots with his elbows askew, make his shot easy to contest at this level and contribute to his inefficient shooting percentages. For Dyson to develop into an effective shooter while playing against bigger and more athletic wing players at the next level, he must work on his form to develop a more efficient shooting stroke. Such improvement is easier said than done, however, and if Dyson cannot prove to scouts that he can hit spot-up jump shots at an acceptable clip, then he will have a hard time convincing anybody that he is an NBA player.
He does not make the best decisions, either, driving both relentlessly and recklessly to the basket while not looking to defer to his teammates nearly enough. Though Dyson averaged 3.2 assists per game and 4.1 assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted, he is not a point guard and is clearly focused on creating scoring opportunities for himself inside and outside of the flow of Connecticuts offense, rather than looking to set up his teammates.
On the defensive end, Dyson is considered to be one of the premier perimeter players in the Big East. Watching him play, however, reveals that while he certainly is a good college perimeter defender, he has a lot of work to do before he can be considered a stopper at the next level. Dysons quick hands and high-energy style allow him to harass his man on the perimeter, where he is his most effective. He has fairly good lateral quickness, which allows him to be a versatile defender at the collegiate level, guarding all three perimeter positions at times. This may not be the case at the next level, as his size will likely render him a shooting guard only. While he bites for too many pump fakes and sometimes loses focus, there is no doubt that when Dyson is dedicated to playing strong man-to-man defense, he can be very effective. Improving his overall fundamentals, such as maintaining his stance and not running under screens, as well as his consistency is important, as well.
Dysons lack of ideal height and strength, as well as his raw offensive game, are significant obstacles considering his potential at the next level. Next season is his last chance to show scouts that he can be a versatile perimeter threat in college. This wont be easy and Dyson is stepping into a Connecticut rotation with many NBA prospects, but short on veteran leadership. Coming off of a knee injury surely does not help, either. Dyson must continue to assert himself on both ends of the floor and incorporate new moves into his offensive repertoire. If he continues to improve while helping Connecticut win games, then scouts will consider him to be a legitimate NBA prospect.